If ever there was a contemporary artist perfectly suited for having a game based on his work, it’s Roger Dean. I mean, yeah, a Thomas Kinkade hidden object game would please my aunts, and I can think of a dozen games that remind me of the artwork of Laylah Ali, but when it comes time to fly dragons through mystical landscapes, you go with Roger Dean, right?
What is it?
Dragon’s Dream is, in fact, more of a showcase for Roger Dean’s artistry than it is a game. Whether you pilot the dragon yourself or sit back and just take in the scenery, Dragon’s Dream is about bringing the artwork of those Yes album covers in your collection to life.
How does it work?
With the visualizer, you just sit back and watch the dragon fly through the landscapes (Oceanic Arches and Forest of Mist). With some new age music playing in the background, it’s actually quite relaxing, and is sure to please Dean’s fans for a bit.
But when you want to get involved, there are two gameplay modes: Arcade and Free Fly.
Both require you to tap/hold the screen to help the dragon ascend. Release, and it falls. Using this simple flight mechanic, you have to pilot the dragon through the landscapes, avoiding obstacles (rocks, for the most part) while collecting orbs. The dragon flies faster as time progresses, making for some pretty challenging sequences when the paths become narrow. Even here, though, the artwork takes center stage as trees whiz by and butterflies/dragonflies occasionally flit around to obstruct your view.
Do well enough, and you unlock Roger Dean’s artwork which can be saved to your camera roll to use as wallpaper.
You also unlock segments of a never-before-seen piece of artwork: Blind Owl.
Is it contagious?
As a game, not really. Although it’s fun, there are only two levels, and the gameplay remains the same throughout. But if you’re into Roger Dean, it’s a fantastic (and proper) showcase of his work. I would like to see more landscapes released, either via updates or in-app purchases, and if they couldn’t use Yes music in the game, they could circumvent that by allowing us to play music in our iTunes collections instead of going with the stock music (which is good, but it’s not Nous Somme du Soleil).
One thing I’d like to see changed now; when flying through the serene landscapes, hitting an object results in an overly harsh thwack, and the screen flashes white. It’s jarring, and it feels more like a development mistake than anything else. There’s got to be a better way to handle that. Regardless, if you’ve ever looked at one of your Yes or Asia album covers and thought, “I’d rather be there than where I am right now,” this is likely as close as you’re going to get.